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Some very good intiial thoughts, Jim.

It seems to me that the Film Council have been handing out the largesse with a combination of enormous self interest and a continual narrowing of the focus of what film is and should be.

Allowing the "industry" to decide what should and should not be made with a combination of lukewarm Thatcherism with an overlay of Blairite diversity should not be allowed to spread to all areas of moving image culture.

Also what will be the role of Skillset in the combined organisation?

Skillset needn't be affected by the merger. As a licensed Sector Skills Council it operates independently of UKFC. UKFC has delegated funding to Skillset to support film sector training under 'A Bigger Future', the film skills strategy, and there's no reason to assume this will change under a merged body. Besides, film forms only one part of Skillset's remit, which covers the wider 'Creative Media' including animation, computer games, interactive media, publishing, radio, TV etc.

My concern is more the growing remit of Skillset as a undemocratic and self elected body who are using training to impose their agenda of the entire media industries.

Interesting post Jim. This should definitely be an opportunity to scale up the research function of the two organisations: not just data collection, but active research and knowledge creation which will support British film (in both the cultural and economic domains).

Thanks Hasan- I agree entirely, and such scaling up would complement the renewed emphasis on learning (in its broadest sense) that I'd like to see at the heart of the merged organisation's remit.

Jim, I am also concerned about this. Both of these illustrious bodies have totally different remits. Also, as much as I am a fan of the UK Film Council, I would be concerned about the BFI getting lost in the shuffle. The BFI is a guardian of British Cinema and I am unconvinced the more commercial chaps in the UKFC side of a merged organisation will ever understand why the BFI requires the budget it recieves and its importance. For me the BFI is guardian of British Cinema's heritage, while the UKFC is to promote and support its future.

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